6 Crazy New Movies That Slipped Under Audiences' Radars
A while ago we predicted that 2015 would be a bleak year of bloated budgets and ever-waning franchises, like Fantastic Four and Terminator: The Wrinkled Cyborg Chronicles. What we didn't expect was for the indie market to so heroically pick up the creative and box office slack over the past year with films like It Follows, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Birdman, and Snowpiercer.
We're not shitting on studio films like Guardians Of The Galaxy, Furious 7, and the upcoming carnal catastrophe that is Mad Max, but every now and then we like to stop and take a moment to tell you about the equally awesome films getting a fraction of the attention they deserve. Films like ...
White God: Rise Of The Planet Of The Dogs
Turning a bunch of plain-roaming pack hunters into wigglepuss fur pals is probably the biggest practical joke mankind ever pulled on Mother Nature. The best part about owning a dog is the subliminal power-rush of knowing that the apex predator you named "Keanu Fleas" has no idea it can kill you at any moment. The film White God explores that dynamic, along with a bunch of allegorical stuff you won't give a shit about once the dog army explodes on-screen:
"Who's a good apocalypse? You're a good apocalypse! Yes, you are!
That's from the trailer, which begins as a seemingly heartwarming tale about a young girl and her beloved dog who are forced to live with her dirtbag father. It's a classic Turner & Hooch-style laugh riot, right up until the grumpy ol' father heartlessly abandons the dog in the middle of the city like a grumpy ol' ass wipe:
... only to inadvertently cause the lovable pooch to rise up against his human oppressors with the help of an ever-growing army of strays.
"We swear, the neutering wasn't our idea! Bob Barker is the one you want!"
It's like Homeward Bound meets V For Vendetta, with a dog staging a bloody revolution because of his love for a little girl.
We're a little disappointed they didn't paint him blue and go full Braveheart.
This is clearly going to be the most adorable tale of vicious maulings ever produced. Despite coming out in March, somehow this thing is only in a limited number of theaters, even though it's an obviously superior version of 2011's blockbuster hit Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes.
... and with a much more vacant lead star.
Related: Truly Wild Ideas To Save The Planet
Stung: Giant Wasps Attack Lance Henriksen
There hasn't been a worthwhile killer bee film since the creature features of the '70s -- at best, bees have been a delightful comedic antihero, like in The Wicker Man or My Girl. The new movie Stung realizes that if we're not going to take bees' wrath seriously, we might as well make them grotesquely huge instead.
That'll stop a picnic right in its tracks.
In the film, toxic plant fertilizer creates gumball-sized killer wasps who attack people and presumably lay eggs in their bodies ...
... which then erupt into even larger wasps out of the mangled husks of fancy garden-party guests.
Just like the last episode of Party Down.
Naturally, it's up to the catering staff to save the day from these buzzy goblins as they do their best John Carpenter creature impressions, including occasionally wearing the heads of their victims like motorcycle helmets. Throw in Peter Stormare and Lance Henriksen, two character actors famous for playing the broadest low-key weirdos in film history, and this movie looks like the beautiful potpourri of gore and randomness we deserve.
Avenged: A Woman Is Powered By A Native American Revenge Ghost
No doubt you've heard about the Native American actors who walked off the set of Adam Sandler's latest cinematic betrayal on account of it being both unfunny and racially insensitive (in other words, "being an Adam Sandler movie"). Indeed, the line between ironically aping the exploitation of a group and actually making them the butt of a joke is a thin one, which is unlikely to be successfully explored by Avenged, a movie about a pretty white chick plastered in war paint and spearing a car into an uncontrolled barrel roll:
Not exactly the clearest of allegories, but by far the most kickass.
Avenged tells the story of a young deaf woman who witnesses a group of rednecks murder two Native American boys, only to be nearly killed herself. Luckily her half-dead bag of bones is found by a shaman, who summons the spirit of an Apache warrior into her body to exact vengeance. Instead of putting the ghost into himself for whatever reason.
"You do it. I have errands."
This spiritual act leads to a series of brutal Apache ghost-on-redneck murders involving more ridiculous tomahawk throws than Call Of Duty: Black Ops, culminating in a culturally healing tomahawk versus chainsaw ultimate battle.
Now the fact that any action movie exists that doesn't contain that
match-up just feels like a waste of film.
It's a classic Hollywood "cowboys and Indians" tale, right down to the role of the primary Native American being played by a white person. Is any of that culturally insensitive? We honestly can't tell through all the ghost revenge. At least the filmmakers didn't go with the original name, Savaged, which was seriously what the film was titled until they changed it at the last minute.
400 Days: Dane Cook In Space
Films like Interstellar and Gravity realized that the endless, murderous emptiness of space is far scarier than any armor-plated rape lizard. The film 400 Days clearly wants to invoke that sense of existential dread with a story of four astronauts undergoing isolation testing, with the horrifying twist that one of them is Dane Cook.
"It's a confined space, Dane; you can stop shouting."
In fairness, Dane Cook hasn't proven to be a good or terrible actor, and this isn't the first time he's played a serious role in a creepy movie. 400 Days, also starring once-Superman Brandon Routh, will follow America's best-selling comedy bro as he tries not to go insane with space madness.
Aside from the isolation training (for what we assume is 400 days), little is known about the film outside of the official synopsis: that the group of astronauts ends up losing communication with the outside world and slowly goes bananas. When they finally exit the simulation, it becomes painfully evident that they may not have been undergoing a "simulation" after all, but rather the cruelest possible way NASA could fire shitty astronauts.
"Dane refused to clean the coffee maker in the astronaut lounge, so we buried him
and his team for a thousand years."
When you think about it, despite the possibilities of satanic black holes, planet-eating fog, and an evil orbiting Leprechaun, maybe the real horror of space travel is having to live in close proximity with three other people for over a year.
And, hey, speaking of that ...
Air: The Last Two Men On Earth, And One Of Them Is Daryl Dixon
The Walking Dead is one of the highest-rated shows in the history of cable television. Of the characters in that show, every single goddamn poll in the world puts Norman Reedus' Daryl Dixon as the fan-favorite character by a giant margin. So it's kind of baffling that Air has managed to avoid getting any kind of hype, despite the fact that it is all about Norman Reedus in the apocalypse.
Nice to finally let him survive the end of humanity inside for once.
But the nerdgasm doesn't stop there, because this is also the theatrical producing debut for Robert Kirkman -- the creator of The Walking Dead comics. Essentially, it's everything that everyone enjoys about The Walking Dead, rolled into a feature film about two janitors in a doomsday bunker.
"No matter how much you scrub, the apocalypse always manages to look dusty."
That's Djimon Hounsou on the left -- a guy you'll recognize as the guy who didn't recognize Star Lord in Guardians Of The Galaxy (and possibly also from his Academy Award-nominated performances in Blood Diamond and In America). According to Reedus, these two scruffy jumpsuit-wearing floor scrubbers are the last two human beings on Earth. As caretakers for the biologically frozen upper crust of mankind, it's their job to await the eventual thawing out and repopulation while maintaining the facility and presumably fighting over the last scrap of pornography in existence.
Farrah Fawcett's half-obscured nipple isn't worth your life, Daryl.
However, one of the two janitors discovers that the other is in possession of some sort of dark secret, spiraling into what Reedus referred to as a "mindfuck of a movie" where one character attempts to persuade the other into some terrible situation, like murdering all the frozen people, or making another Boondock Saints movie.
People Are Shooting Some Crazy Shit At CERN
The CERN laboratory is that huge science lair in Switzerland that contains the Large Hadron Collider, which will apparently turn us all inside out or something. Honestly, when you consider how intangible and complicated the accomplishments are, for all we know particle accelerators could just be giant Chuck E. Cheese's ball pits that scientists are hiding from us. Further evidence of this widely believed "hidden playground" conspiracy theory we just invented is how surprisingly delightful it appears to be to work in this highly sophisticated science facility. For example: They just made a movie there:
"Could somebody go make sure the craft services guy didn't try to set up
on the 'collapse universe' button again?"
And by "they," we literally mean the scientists working at CERN. And we're not talking about a documentary following their research or anything. They got together, raised money, and shot and acted in a film taking place in the largest particle physics lab in the world. Titled Lea -- An Angel In My House, the story follows a man who tragically loses his wife and daughter, only to befriend a young girl that turns out to be some kind of crazy cyborg.
"It always unnerves me when they do that with their arms."
The two central roles were played by the director's daughter and one of his CERN co-workers, with the latter describing acting as "a challenge when you are normally just writing software or running a team of people writing software."
We're not sure what's stranger: the fact that this was made exclusively by a group of scientists at their enormous future lab like a bunch of kids having a sleepover, or that the resulting film apparently includes a flying sequence.
"Crap, I think I just dropped my phone."
Somehow, a movie about flying ghost cyborgs is still not the weirdest thing going on in this zany physics lab. CERN was also the setting for an upcoming "dance opera" entitled Symmetry.
So, basically, either Switzerland has some amazing drugs they're not talking about or the people at CERN accidentally opened a portal to some kind of fanciful alternate universe way more awesome than ours.
Know of some incredible upcoming movie with zero hype? Tell Dave about it on Twitter!